I am so excited to tell CBS our story and get the word out about this coalition. I’ll be getting up at 3:45am to film at 5:00am. The early show on CBS your local station, tomorrow morning from 5:00am to 7:00am, we should be on the last hour. So wish us luck and WATCH us support the cause.

Melissa Wheeler

28 comments on “I'm so excited about this!!!!!!! CBS

  • Hi
    I cannot agree with you more that now is the time for this legislation. I am an Air Traffic Controller with the FAA. I watch American and United airline planes load their passengers and pull away from the gates when they know full well that they have a 2 hour delay before they can depart. The reason the flight crews do this is because their flight time does not begin until they release the brakes on the aircraft. In other words, if they remain at the gate for the 2 hours of the delay, they DO NOT get paid flight time for it. They are paid at a lower rate. They also may be used for a flight at heir next stop because they have flight time left for that day, and this would take them beyond the work hours they have planned for that day. I think that these actions by the flight crews and by association, the airlines, constitute a breach of the agreement between the airline and the purchaser of the ticket. Anyone who is so abused, should have the right to be paid for their time and inconvienience.

  • Please start a web site for your Bill Proposal w/hotlinks to send e-mail to Senators/Reps – so that other citizens can easiliy e-mail a form letter of support for the Bill to Congress. Allot of Americans will take advatnage of contacting their Congressional reps if you make it easy for them (and you’ll have an ever growing rumble to back up the Coallition). I think it should be illegal to hold passengers over 1.5 hours on the tarmac… 3 hours is more than generous to the airline (too generous)

    I can’t believe how inhumane they treated you all… what is truly sad – is you all would have been removed from the plane if someone had lost it enough and yelled that they had a bomb – TSA would have had to remove you all from the plane for a false threat – evidently TSA isn’t tasked with prpotecting people’s health and saftey from the airline holding you hostage.

  • First – YES!!!!!!! I have been dreaming up this Bill of Rights forever.

    Please add:

    Restrictions around minimum seat size and restrictions on the ability for other seats to encroach on your space. If you pay for a seat, you should have unblocked rights to a specific amount of space.

    Restrictions on minimum personal storage space for each passenger that is outside of the seat space.

  • The tarmat parking lot has little to nothing to do with weather, instrument trouble or bomb threat.
    Airports are concerned with moving as many people$$$ through the airport as possible.
    They only have so many gates for any given airline/carrier, and multiple carriers.
    They can only schedule so many planes to take off and land per hour. One plane on a runway at a time.
    Keep in mind there are rush hours or peek travel time for air travel.
    Physically; If they can only take off and land 60 planes per hour.
    And they have 120 Gates unloading and loading passenger$$$$, 1 plane per hour (not unreasonable)
    They are scheduling double the capacity of the runways. OVER BOOKING
    Which means they are intentionally scheduling 60 planes to be loaded and parked on the tarmac until rush hour ends, extending your stay at that given airport by 2 + hours.
    If they allow the passengers$$ to wait in the airport lounge, they tie up that gate with an empty airplane, while a full plan that just landed is parked, lessoning the amount of passenger$$ that can be shuffled through their airport.
    Check Newark’s history of on time departure, it’s very short because you’re scheduled to be loaded and parked. Airplanes in the air have priority because they carry only enough fuel to get to their destination, less fuel less weight. They can fill their cargo hulls with more paid freight$$, at the passengers expense.
    It’s all about greed, runway time, gate time, and moving the largest amount of passenger$ onto airplanes
    This isn’t an issue that should be blog, it’s an issue that should be investigating and prosecuted.
    The problem is that there’s a great deal of money$$ being paid$$ to your elected officials$$$$$ to keep this bill on the shelf.

  • This concept is rediculous,

    Passage of a law like this will have 1 of 2 effects on the airline industry.

    A) Airline fairs sky rocket to meet operational needs, airlines like southwest fold destroying affordable travel for many, and planes fly in unsafe conditions to maintain cost effective operations which would probably lead to more critical accidents.

    B) Airline industry collapses and we all travel on grey hound.

    Does no one have a concept of how fragile the travel industry is? Every airline is making dire efforts to cut costs and still keep air travel affordable for everyone. Every airline is a competitor. Can you return the dish set you bought at target to walmart with a target recipt?

    When you get a rollercoaster can you decide to get off after the car departs the platform?

    It’s rediculous. This passes into law thousands lose their jobs and countless thousands more will never be able to afford to fly.

  • Get a real job! Awww you were stuck on a plane for 10 hrs. Cry me a river. What happens when an ice storms hits and a major highway closes and your stuck there for the same amount of time? Who gives you food or a voucher for fuel. NO ONE! so quit acting like you are some saint. I have flown for 20yrs through good and bad. You just want attention! I hope American charges you for the extra fuel they burned for the 10 hrs sit. HAHAHAHAHA

  • Yes, it is high time that a Passenger Bill of Rights is passed. But don’t forget about the voiceless ones – the pets that are in the cargo holds, and the pets that are on board.

    I frequently travel with a cat. She is required to stay in her carrier which has to fit completely under the seat in front of me. She is not allowed to be out of the carrier for the entire trip. I must pay $95 each way for her ticket to ride in that space. (Sometimes her RT ticket is more than mine.) She will not have access to a litter box during the time she is in that carrier, either. I recently was delayed both in San Francisco and in Phoenix due to weather. It took me 17 hours to get home. There are no facilities available where you could safely put your cat to relieve itself in either airport. They have outside dog runs. Those were offered to me. But my cat is an inside cat, and not used to dogs. I THINK ALL PAYING PASSENGERS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO FOOD, WATER, AND TOILET FACILITIES. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

  • Alright, so I feel sorry for the cat, but personally when I travel with my pets, I DRIVE. That way I have control of the situation and I can make the adjustments to make sure that my pet is taken care of during the trip.
    What happens when an ice storms hits and a major highway closes and you’re stuck there for the same amount of time?
    I completely agree. I have racked up quite a few miles traveling multiple airlines for both work and pleasure. I make a choice to give up control of the situation for an undetermined amount of time every time that I CHOOSE to fly. If your car breaks down in the middle of a road trip, are you going to sue Ford or Chevy? What’s next a Pizza Delivery customer’s bill of rights since you didn’t get your Super Bowl pizza until halfway through the game? Do something American for once, and make a choice to not fly or choose another carrier?

  • Wow, some people really have nothing better to do then mock other people’s trying efforts. We are not crying, we are not filing a lawsuit, or crying to be paid for our time, we are simply voicing an opinion that happens to be a very mutual opinion with many many other traveling individuals. We can’t all be wrong, if there are enough people who are for an Airline Passenger’s Bill Of Rights, Guess what it will happen. So please instead of thinking about who is crying and doesn’t have a real job, which most of us were traveling do to real jobs, think about the change that many people are looking for and think about what has influenced them to be so passionate about this change we are simply asking for. If we were the only ones, it wouldn’t happen, but newsflash we are not the only ones. It will happen because there is a large enough need, and when you fly, hopefully our efforts will go unnoticed, that will mean we did our job. You and your loved ones will not have to deal with these complications that so many people have had to deal with.

    Melissa Wheeler

  • I recently read several articles in the paper regarding the AA flight in Austin which sat on the ground far too long (8-10 hours before the Captain decided to pull the aircraft into the gate (without permission).

    I have worked for American Airlines for many years. It is unfortunate to see American Airlines always in the spotlight for poor service. The fact is, management at American is out for one thing, your money. When you are inconvenienced for whatever reason, the airlines way of looking at the situation is “WE GOT YOUR MONEY ALREADY” TOO BAD!

    American Airlines seems to think we are the best of the best. There is no short supply of people willing to fly with us. I do enjoy my job, but do not like working for American.

    My advice is to fly another carrier. American’s management never puts their money where their mouth is and has no respect for the flying public or for it’s employees who are very hard working and have made HUGE sacrifices to keep the company from entering bankruptcy.

  • I am a Captain for a major US airline, and you all are missing the main cause of the problem, especially the air traffic controller who made the first comment. The majority of the delays that you experience on American, or United, or any airline for that matter, are not caused by the airline, they are caused by a federally funded air traffic control system that can’t handle today’s volume of traffic, especially on a bad weather day. I’ve been doing this day in and day out for the last 22 years, and 95% of the delays are caused by the FAA, but you as a passenger can’t see that, because you are not sitting in my seat. Try and pass your bill of rights, the FAA knows that if it comes time to financially account for blame, the airlines will hold the FAA (the government) accountable as the real source of the bulk of all delays!

  • Go for it. They pretty much solved the overbooking / bumping problem years ago when Congress required them to pay compensation.

    Add to that compensation for every inconvenience from delays to lost luggage and the airlines will quickly clean up their acts.

  • It’s completely ridiculous to think that adding these consumer-friendly regulations would cause fares to go up and that the airline system would collapse because of these regulations. It would cost the airlines VERY LITTLE to accommodate these regulations, and all airlines should simply adopt these regulations voluntarily, in part to avoid “government intrusion into the marketplace” (the airways system is not a full-fledged marketplace anyway, it’s a highly regulated – part of our transportation infrastructure, just like the highways and railways. And it’s completely dependent on taxpayer money in order to function at all – like ALL transportation infrastructure, everywhere in the world. The airlines would like you to think that their businesses are in a free market and shouldn’t be regulated, but that’s simply a lie).

  • Dear anonymous captian,
    I’m sure you are most probably correct in the fact there is no easy solution to traffic control. This is the world we live in. Very congested…Why would sitting in the terminal be so hard to acomplish vs in the plane on the parking lot?

  • You’re on drugs if you think your “bill of rights” will do anything constructive.

    What will happen if passed, though, is airlines will simply start cancelling flights instead of trying to get people where they want to be.

    Sure, you won’t be stuck on an aircraft, but hey, who cares about the millions of flights per year and the number of times something like this actually occurs.

    Trying to legislate the 0.0001% of any given situation is a wasted effort.

    As already mentioned, you get what you pay for. You want better service? Hire an air taxi or bizjet charter.

  • I just wonder how many people who are on this bandwagon think that gov’t legislation similar to that which has been proposed should also be proposed in their respective industries? Do Doctors offices and Hospitals have the legal repsonsiblity to notify you of delays of more than 10 minutes? Should the mall contact all of it’s potential shoppers at Christmas to advise of poor parking conditions and check out lines which stretch beyond 10 minutes?

    Did you also know that the Americans with Disabilites Act covers the Wheelchair and Special needs passenger’s rights that you have proposed? Did you also know that many airline websites already let you know when booking, how late flights generally run?

    I agree with you, American Airlines completely dropped the ball. But if your company dropped a ball on a customer, how far do you think the Federal Government should force you to go?

    CBS and the national press love airline stories. Airlines are big with big planes and high visibility. Who is suprised about this coverage?

    As mad as you might be about American’s treatment….ask yourself….Do I want my job to be Federally Regulated should I upset a customer?

  • And recently its bad enough to fly while “looking like a Mid East person”- even if from India, Asia or even South America …

    Bye Bye! Ba-Bye! Bah Bye! Bye Bye!baBye!BAbye! ByeBa!


  • Hi Larry

    Today’s (Front Page) Los Angeles Times stressed “Airline’s Service Experiencing a Bumpy Ride.” Having just flown on a variety of airlines and not sure what was worst — the plane’s filth, the complaining or surly flight attendants or my lost luggage, I just heard from some friends that ended up with a case of head lice after chartering a private jet. I was reminded of Jayne Clark’s past article (3/16/06) that dealt with unwanted “passengers” on planes — germs.

    With the airlines continuing to cut back services and amenities, I thought that there might be a possibility that my TravelKleen Headrest Protector could be mentioned as a “special interest product” or a “travel tip” in one of your columns.

    Believe it or not, there is a connection. One of my customers that hikes, camps, climbs and runs happened to mention to me that “Dirt is clean — airplane seats aren’t…” It seems that her comment truly puts things into perspective.
    If you feel that there could be a connection, below is a news release that further explains my product. One other note: My product (with an organization’s logo) makes a great promotional give-a-way that it may have in the near future. Thoughts?

    By the way, my background is quite interesting: Wife (37 years), Mother (4 children), Teacher, Grandmother (with a web page), QA Coordinator (Santa Monica Hi-Tech Company), and now, an Entrepreneur — a great human interest story.

    Please let me know your thoughts.




    Of interest to editors and journalists covering: travel, tourism, health, airline industry, beauty products, human interest for travel and promotion industries

    New disposable headrest cover provides sanitary barrier for the passenger and is a highly-visible branding tool for the advertiser.

    Los Angeles, Ca. – December 17, 2006 – TravelKleen, LLC (www.TravelKleen.com), a leader in travel hygiene, announces a new line of unique headrest protectors for the travel and promotion industry. The new, reusable headrest protector cover provides a sanitary barrier between the traveler’s head and the seat’s headrest. The protector is made from a hygienic fabric featuring a special adhesive that allows the lightweight, attractive headrest protector to easily adhere to seatbacks. The protector easily attaches to fabric, leather and synthetic materials without marring the surface and in seconds, can quickly be removed and put back into its pouch.

    The headrest protector is simple to use, fits all sizes of seats, is adjustable for children, is reusable and inexpensive. The back of the head never directly touches soiled seatbacks providing a fresh and comfortable feeling for the traveler – a perfect item for consumers concerned about hygiene issues.

    When asked about the main point about the product, Arlene Rosenstein, president of TravelKleen said that her TravelKleen Headrest Protector “is the leading sanitary product on the market for the anxious travelers that wish to keep their head clean and fresh while on the move.”

    “The thought of the thousands of people who have put their heads against the dirty headrest was awful” explained Rosenstein. “The headrests are rarely (if at all) cleaned. Trying to ignore the ‘filth and smelly problem’ was impossible. My headrest protector helps me and my fellow travelers.”

    TravelKleen’s headrest (two to a package) comes in a small, vinyl bag that easily fits in a purse, brief case or even a jacket pocket. Although the main emphasis has been trains and planes and is sold at airports, Ms. Rosenstein indicated that her product is also found in beauty supply, luggage and drug stores as well as specialty shops.

    More recently, the TravelKleen headrest protector has become a unique marketing and advertising tool for other industries such as outdoor retail, hi-tech, conventions and other organizations. Ms. Rosenstein started the company earlier this year. When asked if there was anything unexpected in how her company has taken off, Ms. Rosenstein said that she was surprised that industries not directly related to the travel industry “were doing a service for their own customers and clients” by using her TravelKleen Headrest Protector “as a unique way to promote their company and to help people recognize health and hygiene issues in the travel industry.”

    Media contact

    Arlene Rosenstein


    Phone: 310-476-4599

  • I want to update all of you about todays events. I did Good Morning America which will air tomorrow morning and KRON 4 which will air tonight at 11:00 p.m.

    I am so excited about the progress of the coalition and want you all to know how committed I am to the process of getting this legislation.

    Keep up the spirit everyone.

    Kate hanni

  • Anyone who watched the Matt Lauer interview with an airline spokesperson this morning is probably shaking their head like I am. The lady told Matt how misunderstood and sympathetic the airlines are. Matt patted her head with the comment that Jet Blue was really doing the right thing. No doubt he’ll be flying first class any time he wants. There really needs to be some management consequences for failure to provide for passengers’ health and safety, including mental trauma. An apology and a ticket to perhaps another imprisonment is not sufficient.

  • Never mind the naysayers and the rationalizers. The airline industry seems to attract more than its share of Stockholm Syndrome sufferers – customers who are pleased to justify any indignity, inconvenience or outrage perpetrated by the companies involved.

    I am no big fan of government regulation, but the airlines have shown such ineptitude, irresponsibility and arrogant disregard for their customer base, I have come to feel that baseline regulatory legislation is the only answer. I view this as similar to legislation forcing carmakers to equip vehicles with seatbelts, or drug makers to obtain approval for new and unproven formulations. Some industries won’t do anything pro-customer until they’re forced to.

    If a Federal law required airlines to pay each passenger $100 per hour for taxiway delays longer than three hours, you bet they’d diminish.

  • If a Federal law required airlines to pay each passenger $100 per hour for taxiway delays longer than three hours, you bet they’d diminish.
    WRONG, your fare would go up by 200 dollars

  • We have a “Bill Of Rights”! As American citizens we should demand that the unscrupulous Air lines be held accountable for its actions that amount to kidnapping and hostage takeing! I DO NOT want anyone to create a bill that would authorize anyone or thing to be able to hold anyone against their will, period. What was this Senator thinking. “3 HOURS LOCKED ON A Plane is Okay” No its not okay! When someone buys a ticket on an airline they have a right to cancel if the airline cannot deliver what they promise.

  • Melissa,

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for starting this blog, and this petition. I’ve posted your blog address on the JetBlue Youtube ‘apology’ video that the CEO has posted. He makes NO MENTION of the fact that his airline locked hundreds of people in an tin can cesspool for 11 hours.
    Until a Congressionally supported Bill of Rights prohibits this, the airlines will continue to do this at their convenience, without penalty. Thanks for starting this site.

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